Everyone can contribute to climate protection! True to the motto “avoid, reduce and compensate”, we can take responsibility for our own ecological footprint, i.e. also for our CO2 emissions. The most important everyday causes of harmful emissions include travel by car or plane, but also heating and electricity consumption, as well as our own consumer behavior.
Below you will find some tips on how to reduce your own ecological footprint and CO₂ emissions with simple measures and thus contribute to climate protection:
Use public transport such as the train or bus. For example, in Switzerland it is 25 times better to travel by train than by car. In France it is 12.4 times better, in Germany it is 3 times better, in Belgium 5.2 times better. The differences are due to the original energy generation used in these countries. Depending on the resulting electricity mix, rail travel produces more or less climate-damaging emissions.
Avoid flying whenever possible. The greenhouse gas footprint of air travel has by far the highest emissions compared to other modes of transportation.
Fully occupied cars have lower energy consumption per person and therefore cause fewer CO₂ emissions than a car with only one occupant.
Offset the emitted carbon dioxide from unpreventable air travel and car trips in a high-quality climate protection project.
Energy saving tips for the household
Use energy-saving light bulbs and LEDs. Due to significantly better energy efficiency as well as longer service life, financial savings of approximately €135 and CO₂ savings of 250 kg per year and lamp are achieved.
Switch off the lights when you leave a room. This saves electricity, money and protects the climate.
Preparing and heating water is energy-intensive. A short shower is more climate-friendly than a full bath. Setting the water heater to 60°C further reduces your energy consumption.
Turn off appliances in standby mode completely.
Refrigerators and other appliances in the A+ or A++ category are much more efficient than appliances without an energy efficiency label.
Not every electronic device that can be found in the specialty store is really necessary. Electronic humidifiers, for example, can easily be replaced by a damp cloth over the radiator.
Constantly open windows mean high energy consumption when heating. By airing the room for 5 to 10 minutes, fresh air enters the room, but the walls do not cool down, so that the energy demand after airing remains minimal.
If you lower the room temperature by 1 °C, you can save at least 4 percent energy. And your heating costs go down, too.
Lower washing temperatures reduce energy consumption. With modern detergents, your clothes will get clean even at low water temperatures.
Dry your clothes in the sun, a free and emission-free alternative.
Cook with the lid on to save energy.
Regularly check the energy consumption of your electrical appliances to find hidden weak points early on. For example, older sealing rings on refrigerators whose function has been impaired can cause a sharp increase in energy consumption.
Calculate and compensate for the CO₂ emissions that you and your household cause through electricity consumption and heating, despite saving measures.
Rethink your consumption behavior
Be aware of your own consumer behavior and actively decide what you really need. Modern marketing strategies quickly tempt people to make rash purchasing decisions.
Use rental services, especially for products that are rarely needed, or shared usage systems such as car sharing.
Keep in mind that every product, not just electronic devices, causes greenhouse gas emissions in its manufacture and production all the way to its sale. The average German buys about 60 new items of clothing a year; a simple white cotton T-shirt (220 g) with a lifetime of about 55 washes causes about 11 kg of CO₂ emissions, or about 50 times its own weight.
Question your diet and the system behind it. The large selection of different fruits and vegetables in winter shows the import flows of exotic foods to Germany. Not only the production is responsible for their greenhouse gas balance, but also the long transport distances. Therefore, as far as possible, buy seasonally and regionally. This usually not only has ecological advantages, but usually also improves the quality of the products. The CO₂-e emissions of animal products also exceed those of plant products enormously. One kilogram of fruit or vegetables causes emissions amounting to 1 kg CO₂-e, whereas the greenhouse gas balance of beef is just under 20 kg CO₂-e per kilogram. Pork at around 8 kg and poultry at 4.2 kg CO₂-e are significantly more climate-friendly, but still exceed the emissions of plant-based products. By reducing animal products in your diet, you can save a lot of money on the one hand and use it for higher-quality animal products, which means you not only make a big contribution to climate protection, but also support sustainably oriented companies.
There are many solutions to reduce your own greenhouse gas emissions and thus do something against global warming. Pay conscious attention to your lifestyle and try to reduce your consumption of resources and impact on the environment and climate. If your emissions are reduced to a minimum and you still want to take responsibility for your unavoidable emissions, support myclimate carbon offset projects and make an important contribution to preserving the quality of life for future generations.
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